The military station was established at the Neck in 1832 under the command of Ensign Darling. Appropriately, it was referred to as 'the key to the peninsula'. Today, the only building which survives is the Officers' Quarters, erected in 1832. The building has been restored and now acts as a museum and interpretation centre.
It is thought to be the oldest timber military building in Australia. Remnants of the garden are also visible, noticeably the Norfolk Island pine. The first section of this building was erected in 1832. In April of that year Ensign Jones reported that 2 000 bricks had been sent down from Hobart 'for the purpose of completing the chimneys of the Officers' Quarters and the Soldiers Barracks'. Lt. Bunbury described his quarters as 'a rickety little wooden house at the foot of a gloomy, thickly wooded hill, within nearly 200 yards of the sea'.
Desperation drove many convicts to attempt escape from Port Arthur, but only a few ever made it successfully via Eaglehawk and East Bay Necks. Some 'bolters' perished in the dense bush or drowned whilst attempting a sea crossing in makeshift canoes and rafts. Others were caught in the act and subjected to severe punishments for their efforts. A belief that the bays were shark-infested acted as a deterrent to sea-based getaways.
In 1991 the site was acquired by the State Government and is currently under the control of the Parks & Wildlife Service
Don't miss the opportunity to spend a little time in the Officer’s Quarters and surrounding grounds to discover the remarkable history of the Eaglehawk Neck Historic Site.